Car Repairs To Get More Expensive

Tue 19th Jul 2022

Motorists who have been putting off getting that minor repair made to their car are being warned that the cost of living crisis is likely to impact garages and mechanics later in the year, with most independent garages admitting that they plan price rises.

Like most businesses, car workshops are not immune to the rising energy and fuel pressures and they have been hit hard by many car owners cutting back on servicing and repair work. Thousands of motorists have been looking at ways they can save money on their cars and recent research suggests that many are delaying a trip to the garage, even if a red warning light is on their display.

The industry has also been impacted by the government’s decision to offer MOT extensions to millions due to the COVID lockdown, and the ongoing threat that the MOT might be moved to a bi-annual test to ease financial pressure on car owners.

Garages have also had to contend with a shortage of spare parts, as anyone who has recently had a repair to their car would confirm, with delays on parts arriving, in part due to the war in Ukraine.

Research from the Motor Ombudsman has found that rising energy prices is the key factor in many garages planning on putting their prices up, while 86 per cent of businesses in the industry had also reported a lack of custom as drivers cut-back. Some 58 per cent of those surveyed said that they had seen fewer requests to top up oil levels or air conditioning coolants.

“Our research has shown that garages and workshops in the service and repair sector have had to manage a multitude of financial and economic challenges so far this year,” said Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman.

“With the outlook for the next six months continuing to look difficult, it is unsurprising that service and repair business owners are looking to raise prices to maintain profitability and support staff salaries. 

“This of course all comes during a period when households, which are already under a financial strain, are set to experience even greater pressure from increasing energy costs before year-end, with vehicle maintenance, as shown in our March survey, taking even more of a back seat for many.”